11 Jan 2021

11 Jan 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Lagrangian eddy tracking reveals the Eratosthenes anticyclonic attractor in the eastern Levantine basin

Alexandre Barboni1,2, Ayah Lazar3, Alexandre Stegner1, and Evangelos Moschos1 Alexandre Barboni et al.
  • 1Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau, France
  • 2Département de Géosciences, Ecole normale supérieure de Paris, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, France
  • 3Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Center, Hubert Humphry St, Haifa, Israel

Abstract. Statistics of anticyclone activity and trajectories in the southeastern Mediterranean sea over the period 2000–2018 is created using the DYNED atlas, which links the automated mesoscale eddy detection by the AMEDA algorithm with in situ oceanographic observations. This easternmost region of the Mediterranean sea, delimited by the Levantine coast and Cyprus, has a complex eddying activity, which has not yet been fully characterized. In this paper we use Lagrangian tracking to investigate the eddy fluxes and interactions between different subregions in this area. We find that the southeastern Levantine area is isolated, with no anticyclone exchanges with the western part of the basin. Moreover the anticyclonic structure above the Eratosthenes seamount is identified as being an anticyclone attractor, differentiated from other anticyclones and staying around this preferred position up to four years with successive mergings. Colocalized in situ profiles inside eddies provide quantitative information on their subsurface structure and show that similar surface signatures correspond to very different physical properties. Despite interannual variability, the so-called Eratosthenes attractor stores a larger amount of heat and salt than neighbouring anticyclones, in a deeper subsurface anomaly that usually extend down to 500 m. This suggests that this attractor could concentrate heat and salt from this sub-basin, which will impact the properties of intermediate water masses created there.

Alexandre Barboni et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on os-2020-118', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Feb 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Alexandre Barboni, 06 Apr 2021
  • CC1: 'Comment on os-2020-118', John M. Huthnance, 12 Feb 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on os-2020-118', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 Feb 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Alexandre Barboni, 06 Apr 2021

Alexandre Barboni et al.

Data sets

Atlas of 3D Eddies in the Mediterranean Sea from 2000 to 2018 Alexandre Stegner, Briac Le Vu, and Pegliasco Cori

Alexandre Barboni et al.


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Short summary
Mesoscale eddies are an important part of the turbulent motion in the oceans, constituting coherent structures that can live for years storing physical properties anomalies. Analysis of anticyclones (clockwise rotating eddies) tracks in the eastern Levantine basin revealed statistical patterns over 19 years of data, in particular the presence of an anticyclone attractor above the Eratosthenes seamount, with a strong heat content signature.